Best Of 2016

Best helper: CRISIS CENTER OF TAMPA BAY

Best helper

There are so many organizations that help individuals with specific needs — homelessness, mental health issues, family crises — but there aren’t many that can say they do it all. For Hillsborough County, this one can. In one wing of the building you’ll find (highly trained) people on the local crisis hotline — 211 — which takes calls from people who are financially strained, victims of abuse or even suicidal; staffers try to connect callers with as many services as possible. Another part of the building serves as the county’s intake center for sexual assault victims. Down a nearby corridor, clients can attend personal finance classes. The nonprofit is now reaching out to the community via its Green Dot program, which aims to encourage people witnessing situations that may turn bad to step in and deescalate. —KB